Last month’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the privacy of petition signers in state ballot initiatives is already being invoked in the broader context of defending state sunshine and open meeting laws.

The state of Texas cited the decision Doe v. Reed (pdf) earlier this week in the latest chapter of a long-running dispute over the state open meeting act, which some local Texas officials are challenging as unconstitutional. The local officials say the law’s criminal provisions put them in constant fear of punishment when they communicate with each other, in effect violating their own freedom of speech.

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